STEP-UP applications are open annually October 1 – February 1.
Diversity and Equity Requirements
Applicants must meet one or more of the diversity and equity requirements.
- Be or identify with one of the following racial and ethnic groups: Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, American Indian or Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islanders.
- Have a disability, defined as those with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one of more major life activities, as described in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
- Individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds, defined as those who meet two or more of the following criteria:
- Were or currently are homeless, as defined by the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act
- Were or currently are in the foster care system, as defined by the Administration for Children and Families;
- Were eligible for the Federal Free and Reduced Lunch Program for two or more years (view Lunch Program Eligibility);
- Have/had no parents or legal guardians who completed a bachelor’s degree (Read about First-Generation and Continuing Generation College Students);
- Were or currently are eligible for Federal Pell grants (view Pell Grant Eligibility);
- Received support from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) as a parent or child (view WIC Eligibility Requirements);
- Grew up in one of the following areas:
- a U.S. rural area, as designated by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Rural Health Grants Eligibility Analyzer, or
- Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services-designated Low-Income and Health Professional Shortage Areas (qualifying zip codes are included in the file).
Applicants must be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or legal permanent resident, and give proof of personal medical/health insurance coverage throughout the duration of the program.
Applicants must be enrolled as a full-time student at a U.S. accredited two-year or four-year college or university. Graduating college seniors are not eligible for the program. Students must be 18 years of age at the start of the program. Applicants must have a minimum overall GPA of 3.0 or better (on a 4.0 scale), although exceptions may be granted
This is a rigorous research program in a professional setting. All trainees are required to pursue their research training full-time, defined as 40 hours per week, throughout the duration of the program.
- Personal Statement (600 words or less)
- Two letters of recommendation from academic references
- If a returning participant, at least one letter must be from your most recent STEP-UP mentor
- Academic Transcript
- Reflects all earned credits and grades through December.